Monday, July 29, 2013

Cycling in the 70s: Inn to Inn in Vermont

My wife and I have always enjoyed active recreation. While dating, we often spent our Saturday cycling 15 to 25 miles west from Boston, seeking out the best ice cream stands in rural Massachusetts. A year or two after getting married, we took a vacation in Yosemite National Park which involved a week of backpacking. And in 1979, five years after getting married, our vacation was a week-long cycling trip in Vermont.

The trip we took was a package deal organized by a consortium of inns in Vermont. (Unless I am mistaken, this same consortium, lead by the Churchill House Inn shown below, is still organizing these tours.) Each night we spent at an inn which, in addition to providing a beautiful and comfortable place to spend the night, provided dinner when we arrived and breakfast the next morning.

Of course, much about the trip has been lost to the mists of time. This blog post was created to a small extent from my fading memories and mostly from a set of photographs from the trip. Using pictures showing the names of inns which still exist, a picture of a rural road sign, the sign at the top of a mountain pass, and a city limits sign, I was able to determine that we rode mostly through national forests in the southern half of the Green Mountains of Vermont.

The inns where we stayed varied enormously (which was deliberate and part of the charm of the trip.) The pictures above show inns which were bed and breakfast-like, having the appearance of a traditional Federal-period home. The picture immediately below is what was probably the most casual of the inns at which we stayed, which had the feel of a ski lodge. The picture after that shows an Inn that had more of the feel of a resort.

This trip took place during the summer of 1979. In 1980, my wife and I completed our training, started our first jobs, and each took on the responsibility of setting up, funding, staffing, and running a research laboratory. That same year, we purchased our first house. A year after that, we had our first son. Thus, as unfortunate as it was, it is perhaps not surprising that it took 29 years before we could manage another bicycling vacation. And with that, I will end this post with a few additional pictures from this trip.

For those new to this blog, each week I am posting an update of my training results; see my previous posts for explanations of my aerobic training program, MAF tests, and this graph. My apologies for not posting a MAF test last week, I simply forgot.

As described in an earlier post, I am currently looking at this data attempting to determine if the results decrease for a while after the peak (corresponding to my 200K brevet in May) and then start to increase again, or if they have hit a plateau. This will help me determine what the MAF test actually measures. Although the data looks a lot like a plateau to me, I think it is still too early to judge. The problem is as it has always been, there is a lot of day to day variation ("noise") which makes it difficult to see a trend. Time will tell, and when it does, I will share my conclusions in a blog post.

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